Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Earth Or Old Reformed?

Will The Present Earth Exist Forever?

By Abraham Israel

Question : Will the present earth exist forever? I want a Biblical basis to believe that it is true.

Answer : There are a lot of people of God who have been misled by the opinion of great Bible teacher's who have taught in the past that God will not destroy this present earth completely because it is the will of God that it should continue forever.

To prove this they begin to quote the following Scriptures,

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen 8:22)

Actually this is a promise of God made to Noah after the flood destroyed the whole world because of the wrath of God for the sinfulness of all mankind at that time
(Gen 6:13). Many have pointed to the word "shall not cease" at the end of the above verse and have wrongly come to the conclusion that this present earth will not cease to exist but rather be reformed. Actually this is a mistake and a error because at the beginning of the same verse, God has clearly put a conditional statement that says, "While the [present] earth remains", which in other words means 'as long as the present earth continues' then "seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease". So this clearly proves that the present earth has a limited lifetime.

"68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. 69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has established forever." (Psa 78:69)

This is the next Scripture that is used to point out that God has
"established [the earth] forever". But we see that in context to the earthly Mount Zion of Jerusalem this comparison is done and not the heavenly eternal Mount Zion that in above which cannot be touched physically (Heb 12:18-24; Gal 4:26). So as the Scripture says, the earthly and physical is temporal and has an expiry date, and that which is heavenly is eternal and imperishable (2 Cor 4:18). Therefore, the interpretation for the above verse for the phrase "like the earth which He has established forever" will go like this, "like the earth which God has established according to the set time of its existence in His purpose" thus indicating that "forever" in an earthly sense has both time and purpose for the fulfillment of God's plan and not an eternal one like the new earth which will exist forever in to eternity (Rev 21:1).

"5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever, 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8 They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, to the place which You founded for them. 9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth." (Psa 104:5-9)

These above Scriptures also clearly indicates that God's promise to Noah through the sign of rainbow on the sky signifying that rain will not come in such a destructive way as like it came upon Noah's time to destroy the whole world, and also it mentions the Genesis story in which God rebuked the waters that covered the earth against His will and purpose, which was caused by the fall of fallen angels who fell and started working against God in rage to create chaos initially in the earth
(Gen 9:11-17; 1:1-2; Rev 12:4, 9). So in context, the above 5th verse "You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever" means that 'because God has put the foundation of the present earth, as long as it remains it shall not be moved.' Once the set time for the existence of the present earth gets over, the whole earth will be completely destroyed and not just its foundation (2 Peter 3:10).

The same applies to
Psalms 119:90 which says, "Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides...". In other words, because God established the present earth, it continues until the destruction comes, once His purpose for it gets over. God's faithfulness to keep it intact makes it to abide in its position.

"One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever." (Eccl 1:4)
. This Scripture does not guarantee that earth will not get destroyed at all, all its says is that no matter generation after generation of people come and go until the appointed time and purpose of God gets fulfilled, no human or spirits in the heavenlies can destroy it without His permission and appointed time.

All these Old Testament Scriptures are written in context to the earthly existence of humans and only the New Testament reveals about the heavenly and eternal life ahead for all humans
(John 3:16). So all the Scriptures in the Old Testament cannot be taken in to eternal context of God continuing with this present earth when He has clearly revealed in the New Testament that the first time He destroyed the world with water, but at the end of time, He will destroy it with fire so that not even a iota of dust will remain, but will become in to gaseous state of untraceable proportion in eternity, once the plan and purpose of God to redeem the redeemed people of faith gets over (2 Peter 3:5-10). Only the following two Scriptures Isa 65:17; 66:22 prophetically spoke about the coming new earth in the Old Testament. Isaiah never understood its implication clearly, yet he prophesied by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to our New Testament generation about what is coming ahead for us (1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

So right from the New Testament we will see what is the final word that God says about this topical question 'Will The Present Earth Exist Forever?'

1) John the apostle wrote most clearly about the new earth till date that it cannot be ever misunderstood until the interpretation of it is done intentionally to mean what it is not. Here is the final word of God that apostle John prophetically saw in his vision about the new earth and said,
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." (Rev 21:1). The important thing of note in the above verse are,

(i) John the apostle speaks about a eternally imperishable
"new heaven and new earth" and also he speaks about the passing away of an earthly natural "first heaven and the first earth" (Rev 21:1). The apostle Peter confirms this truth by saying that he believes a natural earth destroyed by God, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10) and gave hope to all believers about an imperishable "new heavens and new earth" in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). In the above verse, the present earthly and temporally existing earth which is the "first" will be destroyed and then it is compared by the apostle to a future heavenly permanent existence which is the "new" in its material content and make up is said to be present which will never be destroyed or shaken (Heb 12:25-29). Both should never be mixed and confused.

(ii) John the apostle speaks about the
"new heaven and a new earth" in direct contrast to the "the first heaven and the first earth", and thus have signified that it should not be mixed and misunderstood. One has existed in the past and the other one will be the one to come in the future. Apostle John used the word "first" before the earth to make it clear that the second is not the last but the eternal earth which is not the first which has passed away in to untraceable gaseous state of non existence (2 Peter 3:10-12).

(iii) In our first earth there was sea even from the beginning as far as we can incur from the word of God, and the heaven was of old which means it was created in the beginning
(Gen 1:1-2). The apostle Peter confirms this truth by saying, "5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:5-7). The world of Noah's time perished by water that has been present from the beginning and as God wants to make a difference between the Old Earth [i.e. the present existing one] which had water since the beginning and the new earth which will have no sea at all (Rev 21:1), God has decided to melt the present old earth to tell to everyone of the redeemed people of God that the new earth will not be a reformed one of the same materials and structure, but a totally different structure which has no purpose of sea in it at all.

2) Apostle Peter gave great hope for all believers to look not for the old perishable earth but for the imperishable new earth by saying,
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:13). Here when the apostle starts with the word "we", he is saying about the exclusivity of all believers of Jesus who are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), to "look for new heavens and a new earth" which clearly implies that he is not speaking about this present earth but is speaking about something that is unseen but believed and seen by faith (2 Cor 4:18; 5:7). If apostle Peter had said to the believers to 'look to new heavens and a new earth' it means that they can at least look to the present earth and heavens, and imagine how the reformed earth and heavens will be. But when he is saying to look "for new heavens and a new earth", he is definitely speaking about something that is beyond human imaginations that cannot be perceived or conceived to give it a outline of how it might look like in our finite mind. So what apostle Peter is saying is, look to God's promise and see by faith in your spiritual eyes what can only be believed. This proves that there can be no chance for the present earth to continue, as it will be destroyed completely and a new earth which we are believing by faith will come in to existence, which will continue forever because in it the righteousness of Christ will dwell forever through redeemed saints inhabiting and living in it.

3) Apostle Peter confirmed that new heavens and a new earth is something that God has prepared for all the believers and that each of us should not look to the present earth which works in contrast to the new and is heading for eternal destruction but to the new heavens and a new earth where God will dwell with us literally
(2 Peter 3:13).

Apostle Paul reemphasized the prophet Isaiah of old and said,
"9 But as it is written [(Isa 64:4; 65:17)]: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit...12 Now we have received,...the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual...16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ [so we believe and understand it spiritually within us]." (1 Cor 2:9-10, 12-13, 16).

The future new heavens and new earth is described here above by apostle Paul to be something inconceivable to natural human imagination and understanding of mind because God has prepared it for the saints and have kept it in secret until the time we will inhabit it after the thousand years reign with Christ
(Rev 21:1). All believers after they die go on to be with the Lord and will live in New Jerusalem where temporary mansions will be given to all believers until the thousand years reign with Christ will be over (2 Cor 5:8; Php 1:23; John 14:1-3; Heb 12:22-23). Once the thousand years of reign of Christ along with us on this present earth gets over, then this present earth will perish and the white throne judgment of God will take place in which all unbelievers will be discarded for eternity without God. Once this is over, then the New Jerusalem in which all the saints of God were living with God until then will be lowered and the New Jerusalem will be kept in the middle of the new earth. Once the New Jerusalem is kept on the new earth, the redeemed saints will scatter themselves through out the whole new earth to form new nations with kings appointed by God according to their inherited glory all over it, and then they will start to live with the Lord who is the King of kings in the middle of it (Rev 19:16). And God from then on will live with all the redeemed saints forever and ever in the new earth (Rev 19:14, 6, 11-15; 21:1-8, 22-27). Apostle Paul also promised that if we are spiritual people, we can receive information from the supernatural world through the Holy Spirit and can be able to believe it for our self with conviction within our self. Spiritual people have the mind of Christ to understand spiritual things spiritually. So all these things gives us an idea that this present sin cursed earth can never become a landing place for the holy city of New Jerusalem even if it is reformed, and so it is fit only for fire to be burnt like a unclean garbage (Gen 3:17-19; Rev 21:1-3; 2 Peter 3:10). God's decree cannot be broken or withheld until it is fulfilled and so the old earth will be burnt with fire to become dissolved and untraceable (Esther 8:8; 2 Peter 3:11-12; Isa 34:4).

4) The present size of the earth is so small that it is easily conceivable to human mind and I believe that the new earth will be so infinitely big and beautiful that eternity will only be enough to fully explore and enjoy it for the Glory of God
(1 Tim 6:17).

5) New earth will be a brand new one because in it there will be no more sin or the effects of sin upon anybody or anything forever
(Rev 21:4). Because of this purity of the new earth in all its make up, God guarantees that nothing that defiles or causes abomination can by no means enter the New Jerusalem which will be placed in the midst of the new earth. Because of the lack of even the slightest trace of sin in the new earth God guarantees a sinless state in New Jerusalem and lack of the effects of sin in the new earth like no more death, sorrow, crying and pain in it (Rev 21:27). Only God will be present to wipe away the tears of people who will cry with tears of joy and feel deeply grateful to God for the new life on new earth which they will experience just opposite to their old earthly lives of troubles which they had and all of which they have in their memory (Rev 21:4; John 16:33).

6) Finally many people believe that because God has spoken about the nation of Israel saying,
"35 Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): 36 “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever” (Jer 31:35-36), they think that the God is saying that moon, sun and stars will continue to give light forever and also the nation of Israel will continue forever. But God is saying just the opposite truth in this above Scriptures. What is it? God is saying, the nation of Israel will exist until the sun, moon and the stars will exist to give its light to the earth. Then we might come to think, for how long the the heavenly bodies of the sun, moon and stars will continue? Apostle Peter gave the right exact answer to this by saying, "10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:10-12). Here Peter speaks about the day of the Lord and it seems to us like he is speaking about the second coming of Jesus, but in reality when he is saying, "the day of the Lord," he is actually saying about a thousand years reign of Jesus Christ on earth along with his saints. He is saying that it actually starts with the rapture day in which Jesus will come as a thief in the night to take away His Church from the earth, and he also speaks that at the end of it "the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat,...all these things will be dissolved,...[Because of] the coming of the day of God [i.e. a thousand years reign of Christ], because of which the heavens will be dissolved [at the end of it], being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?"

From the above exposition we know that though Jesus will come to the earth after the Great Tribulation and will judge the earth to discard sinners and unbelievers from it and then will rule for a thousand years (Matt 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Rev 20:4), yet the destruction of the present heavens and the earth will happen only at the end of it (Rev 21:1). So within that one verse in 2 Peter 3:10, it starts with the rapture of the Church, and then the thousand years of Jesus' reign stands hidden inside the same verse, and then directly apostle Peter goes to the end of the Millennium in which this present earth and heavens will all be dissolved and burned up. So nobody should mix all these things and get confused in their study about the end time events. The bottom line we understand is that Israel as a nation will only exist until the end of the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ, in which Satan being released from his prison will go to the four corners of the earth and will deceive them to form a world alliance under God and Magog (Russia), whose numbers together will be like the sand of the sea, and will make then to come and surround the camp of the saints in Jerusalem the beloved city of God to destroy it (Rev 20:-9). At this point of time, fire will come from heaven supernaturally, and thus all the earth and heavens will be burnt by fire to be dissolved completely (Rev 20:9; 2 Peter 3:10-12). Solomon the wisest king who was also a psalmist agrees with this scenario and says, "In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more." In other words, Solomon is saying that in the Millennium rule of Jesus, all righteous people will prosper in their lives until the moon is no more, which clearly points that at the end of the Millennium, moon will be no more because it will be burned up when the heavens will pass away with a great noise as we have already seen.

Conclusion :

From all the above clear cut scriptural exposition, we know that neither will the present earth exist forever nor it will be reformed to become the new earth. But altogether this first old earth will be destroyed by fire and will become in to gaseous state of untraceable proportions. And then God will unveil His new earth which cannot be shaken anymore and will make the redeemed saints inhabit it once this old earth vanishes forever. Until then all the saints have to look forward with expectations and should rejoice that their destiny is unimaginably greater and bigger than they can ever think. Praise the Lord!


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